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Entering the Garrison Gate.

A Day in Tuen Mun.

storm

It's been a lazy week as I've been recovering from my attempts at home improvements which I carried out over the weekend. We spent another resort style day at the pool, went out for an Italian meal in Figo's and I discovered some very beautiful flowers.

Snacks by the pool.

Snacks by the pool.

I thought this flowering tree was lovely.

I thought this flowering tree was lovely.

Dinner in Figo's.

Dinner in Figo's.

Today, Thursday, I decided to go to Tuen Mun in the north-west New Territories. Tuen Mun translates into English as the Garrison Gate. It is located near the mouth of the Tuen Mun River and on the shores of Castle Peak Bay. Apparently it is the site of some of Hong Kong's earliest neolithic settlements. Later this area became home to large groups of Tanka fishermen. Then, later still, around the 1960's, it developed into one of Hong Kong's new towns.

I began my explorations on the banks of the Tuen Mun River. The sky was rapidly turning black and a huge storm was drifting in.

Watching the storm approaching.

Watching the storm approaching.

View from the other side of the bridge.

View from the other side of the bridge.

Foot bridge across the Tuen Mun River.

Foot bridge across the Tuen Mun River.

I crossed the river via a footbridge to look at the Hau Kok Tin Hau Temple which, at around six hundred years old, is one of the oldest Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong. Tin Hau is goddess of the sea and her temples are normally located on the coast, but due to land reclamation in Hong Kong, many here are now a bit further inland. This Tin Hau Temple is located in a large square known as the Tin Hau Temple Plaza. Each year a Tin Hau Festival Parade and a Fa Pau Lots Drawing Ceremony are held here. Fa Pau are beautiful paper towers decorated with images of flowers, animals and people. They are used to decorate floats in the Tin Hau Festival Parade. At the end of the parade a lottery is held and it's possible to win a Fa Pau which will bring you and your village luck. Near the temple there is an exhibition hall with images, photos and information all about the fa pau.

Gateway to Tin Hau Temple Plaza.

Gateway to Tin Hau Temple Plaza.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Incense Coils.

Incense Coils.

Tin Hau Temples often contain boats.

Tin Hau Temples often contain boats.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Tin Hau.

Tin Hau.

Door god.

Door god.

Door god.

Door god.

Fa Pau in the exhibition centre.

Fa Pau in the exhibition centre.

Detail of a Fa Pau.

Detail of a Fa Pau.

Detail of a Fa Pau.

Detail of a Fa Pau.

Photo of lion dancers in front of a Fa Pau during the Tin Hau Festival.

Photo of lion dancers in front of a Fa Pau during the Tin Hau Festival.

Photo of villagers carrying away a Fa Pau they have won.

Photo of villagers carrying away a Fa Pau they have won.

It was raining heavily and thunder and lightning by the time I left the Tin Hau Temple and Exhibition Centre. Despite this, I decided to cross back over the river and look at Tuen Mun Park. Tuen Mun Park is located in the centre of Tuen Mun, not far from exit B of Tuen Mun Westrail Station. The park has a large artificial lake, a water cascade, a model boat pond, a roller-skating rink, a children's play area and a Reptile House.

Entrance to Tuen Mun Park.

Entrance to Tuen Mun Park.

Map of the park.

Map of the park.

The Cascade.

The Cascade.

Looking towards Castle Peak from the bottom of the cascade.

Looking towards Castle Peak from the bottom of the cascade.

Bridge over the lake.

Bridge over the lake.

Reflections in the lake.

Reflections in the lake.

Reflections in the lake.

Reflections in the lake.

There are many real birds in the park and models to inform you what you might see.

There are many real birds in the park and models to inform you what you might see.

Real Bird, apparently it's a black crowned night heron.

Real Bird, apparently it's a black crowned night heron.

I loved the Reptile House and not just because it gave me shelter from the storm. I am a big fan of lizards, so I adored all the lizards and skinks here. The Reptile House also had some scary looking snakes, tortoises in all shapes and sizes and turtles. Entry is free.

Model outside Reptile House.

Model outside Reptile House.

Model outside Reptile House.

Model outside Reptile House.

Entrance to Reptile House.

Entrance to Reptile House.

Sleepy Lizard.

Sleepy Lizard.

Alert Snake. Apparently it is a green tree python.

Alert Snake. Apparently it is a green tree python.

Python.

Python.

Ball Python.

Ball Python.

A Saunter of tortoises. If that's not their collective noun, it should be. The big ones are African spurred tortoises.

A Saunter of tortoises. If that's not their collective noun, it should be. The big ones are African spurred tortoises.

Flat-topped Spider Tortoise.

Flat-topped Spider Tortoise.

Radiated Tortoise.

Radiated Tortoise.

Pig-nosed Turtle looking at his reflection.

Pig-nosed Turtle looking at his reflection.

Northern Snake-necked turtle.

Northern Snake-necked turtle.

Black Skink.

Black Skink.

Hiding Skink.

Hiding Skink.

Chinese Water Dragon.

Chinese Water Dragon.

Leopard Geckos.

Leopard Geckos.

When I had finished looking around the park, I jumped on a light rail train at Tuen Mun Town Centre Stop. I was heading towards Tuen Mun Ferry Pier. The light rail system only exists in the north west New Territories in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long districts.

The light rail network.

The light rail network.

Light rail train.

Light rail train.

From the ferry pier in Tuen Mun it is possible to catch ferries to Tung Chung, Tai O and Sha Lo Wan, a small village on Lantau with no road transport. At one time there were also services from here to Macau and Zuhai Airport. These have stopped due to covid. Next to the ferry terminal there is a long promenade with lots of seats. There are views towards Lantau Island from here.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Looking out over Castle Peak Bay.

Looking out over Castle Peak Bay.

Egret looking for fish.

Egret looking for fish.

The ferry pier is right next to a large light rail terminal which has a shopping centre up above it. I got on a light rail and headed just one stop further on to Melody. I had read that this was the best place to walk to Butterfly Park and Beach from. I know the grand total of one person who lives in Tuen Mun. We did our teacher training at Hong Kong University together. I didn't contact her as my trip to Tuen Mun wasn't really planned. We were supposed to be going to an optician in Tsing Yi, but Peter changed his mind. As I walked towards the beach, I heard someone calling my name and there was my friend. What's more we were right outside her building! She invited me in for some iced tea then took me for a walk to Butterfly Park and Beach. It was nice to catch up. From her house there is a lovely view over the beach.

View from my friend's house.

View from my friend's house.

View from my friend's house.

View from my friend's house.

Looking down towards the beach.

Looking down towards the beach.

With my friend on the beach.

With my friend on the beach.

My friend on the beach.

My friend on the beach.

Looking out to sea from Butterfly Beach.

Looking out to sea from Butterfly Beach.

Next to the beach is Butterfly Beach Park.

Next to the beach is Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterflies in Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterflies in Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterfly Beach Park.

Butterfly Beach Park.

After a very pleasant catch-up, I got on the light rail again and headed to my final sight of the day Mui Fat Monastery in Lam Tei. When I told my friend I was going there, she told me she went to school in the building next to it for seven years. Miu Fat Monastery is actually closer to Siu Hong Station than Tuen Mun Station so I was on the light rail for quite a few stops.

Miu Fat Monastery has two parts joined together by a walkway. One part is traditional looking and the other is ultra-modern. I entered through the modern part which is shaped a bit like a lotus flower and is made of concrete and glass. Apparently there are great views from the top floor here, but I did not know this so did not go to see them. The more traditional part is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall, which dates from the 1950's. It is very ornate with a bright red facade featuring two ferocious looking golden dragons wrapped around its pillars. Stone elephants and lions guard the entranceway. Upstairs on the second floor is the stunning Mahavira Hall with three huge golden Buddha images. The stairway up to the hall is adorned with dragon railings and beautiful Buddha images.

Shop in Lam Tei near the monastery.

Shop in Lam Tei near the monastery.

Entrance to modern part of monastery.

Entrance to modern part of monastery.

Modern part of monastery.

Modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Inside modern part of monastery.

Model showing traditional and modern parts of monastery.

Model showing traditional and modern parts of monastery.

Entrance to traditional part of monastery.

Entrance to traditional part of monastery.

Entrance to traditional part of monastery.

Entrance to traditional part of monastery.

Lion Guard.

Lion Guard.

Elephant Guard.

Elephant Guard.

Incense and stone lanterns outside the monastery.

Incense and stone lanterns outside the monastery.

Beautiful Alloplectus flower in the garden.

Beautiful Alloplectus flower in the garden.

Guardians of the doorway.

Guardians of the doorway.

Guardians of the doorway.

Guardians of the doorway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Images on the stairway.

Dragon Staircase inside Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall.

Dragon Staircase inside Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall.

Close up of dragon image.

Close up of dragon image.

The Three Buddhas in the Mahavira Hall.

The Three Buddhas in the Mahavira Hall.

Buddha image inside Mahavira Hall.

Buddha image inside Mahavira Hall.

I then took the light rail back to Siu Hong West Rail Station and returned home.

Posted by irenevt 03:51 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hi Irene, i know a lot about Hong Kong, through your blogs ,.. Thanks Alec.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, I keep finding more and more to learn. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

It' s hard for me to understand what animals are fake and and what are real

Beautiful pics.

Hugs from hot and sunny Italy!

by Maurizioagos

Haha, the two outside the reptile house are fake. Everything inside it was real, though some stayed remarkably still!!!

by irenevt

Well, quite clear how snake necked turtle got his name named..hah :)

How fun coincidence to bump in to your friend! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, yes it was lovely to see her. Thanks for visiting.

by irenevt

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